I once read an interview of the famed writer/director Billy Wilder. He said that if a screenwriter wrote one line that audiences could remember and quote through the years, then the writer had done the job well. He then went on the make his point with high praise for CASABLANCA. Needless to say, Billy Wilder was also a master at that job. Wilder was a hero and mentor to Cameron Crowe.
ALMOST FAMOUS is not only a valentine to a golden age of rock music and its fans, it's also a valentine to Billy Wilder's art -- especially his classic, THE APARTMENT. In Crowe's trailer before the interview, we met and I went fan-boy on him with my affection for his film. I also remarked, "Penny Lane has Fran Kubelik quality about her." Fran Kubelik is the character Shirley MacLaine played in THE APARTMENT. A big smile broke across Cameron's face and he replied, "That's what I was going for."
Cameron Crowe wrote a book about his conversations with Billy Wilder. In our on-camera conversation, Cameron told that the late, legendary Hollywood filmmaker, then in his 90s, saw ALMOST FAMOUS.
"It's all happening!" Break a leg, Cameron Crowe.